The News Room

Modernizing pleasure craft licensing

Do you use a boat with an outboard motor (10 horsepower or greater) that requires a Pleasure Craft Licence (PCL)? Or are you planning on applying for a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

If so, Transport Canada is proposing changes that will impact you. Here’s a breakdown of some of the changes that are being considered:

  1. A $15 fee to process an application to obtain a new PCL or to renew, transfer, or duplicate a PCL.
  2. A 5-year expiration period for all PCLs (currently no expiry or 10-year expiration period).
  3. Easier cancellation of PCLs if the holder of a lifetime PCL fails to apply, or if a PCL holder fails to renew a PCL.
  4. Reduced timeframe for owners to notify of a name or address change from 90 days to 30 days, and specify 30 days for the buyer to notify of a sale or transfer of a vessel.

Transport Canada is also proposing changes to the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program by introducing an accreditation application fee of $5,000, payable every five years by course providers, and implementing a maintenance and test materials access fee of $8.50 for each Pleasure Craft Operator Card that’s issued. Therefore, it is expected that course providers could increase course fees in order to recuperate these additional expenses.

The OFAH will be providing feedback on behalf of the outdoors community. We also represent these interests through our longstanding involvement on the Ontario Recreational Boating Advisory Committee – a platform to share angler and hunter perspectives with government officials.

Be sure to voice your opinion directly. To learn more about Transport Canada’s proposals and submit comments, go to

Lake St. Lawrence Controlled Hunt Area Waterfowl Hunting Restrictions 2020

A note to all waterfowl hunters:  Riverside Cedar Park is closed for the 2020 season.  In light of this, the parking stakes will be moved to Farran Park.  The season opening date is September 10, 2020.  See the complete Lake St. Lawrence Controlled Hunt Area waterfowl hunting restrictions for the 2020 season here

Ontario takes important first step in cormorant control

OFAH members, through two decades of advocacy, have been at the forefront of requesting government control of overabundant double-crested cormorants and this fall season marks the first step in utilizing hunters to help create a manageable population of cormorants and minimize their impacts on other fish and wildlife species, as well as the habitat and ecosystems that support them.Starting this year, the season will take place from Sept. 15th to Dec. 31st, and allow hunters to take 15 birds a day under a small game licence.
More on this can be found HERE

OFAH calls for PAL extensions to deal with backlog (UPDATED)

Update on firearms licensing backlog

In July, the OFAH wrote a letter to Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, to express concerns with the backlog of firearm licence processing and the potential for it to prevent hunters and sport shooters from using their firearms.

We received a response from the Director General of the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) informing us that “even though [firearms owners] may not be in possession of [a] firearms licence card their licence may have been approved by the Chief Firearms Officer and they could obtain proof through this online submission portal”. In a follow-up to clarify what is ‘proof’, we were told that the CFP was originally suggesting clients to print/display the online message stating “Your application has been processed and your licence has been issued” while they worked on the backlog, and noted that “the enforcement community can view the newly issued firearms licence via their online systems even if the client has not received their firearms licence card”.

The CFP also reported to us thorough e-mail correspondence that they are now currently up to date on the printing of firearm licence cards.

If you have not received your firearms licence card, and you get the message stating “Your application has been processed and your licence has been issued” when performing a licence application search through the CFP’s online Individual Web Services, the CFP suggests you contact them by calling 1-800-731-4000.

This information should help clarify the uncertainty and confusion hunters and recreational shooters have been facing with their licence renewals during COVID-19. The OFAH will continue to monitor firearms licensing, inform the firearms community, and advocate for efficient and user-friendly renewal and application processes. Stay up-to-date at


Breaking News

COVID-19 Update: Effective August 14, 2020 the delivery of Ontario in-person hunter education courses may resume in regions that are in Stage 3

The temporary online/virtual option for hunter education will continue to be available until further notice — click here for details

Our Head office staff have been working very hard during this pandemic. As our province is opening back up, OFAH has written a letter to Premier Doug Ford and Ministers giving some thoughts and recommendations how to enhance the rebuilding of our outdoor activities. THE HONORABLE DOUG FORD


There are eight different committees that some of our zone members take part in. They work on various issues from around the province helping to give, thoughts, ideas and direction that my be requested by the MNRF and others. You can view each committees 2019 reports below









Stay up to date with our news letters,(Spring 2020 just added) postings from the MNRF and OFAH that you may missed and much more

OFAH analysis highlights severe flaws in gun bans

Many OFAH members and supporters have been asking what we have been doing related to the Government of Canada’s firearms prohibitions announced on May 1.

Much of what we’ve been doing on this issue has been behind the scenes, helping to set a stage that will allow us to continue to advocate on behalf of the entire firearms community.

Since the announcement, the OFAH has:

  • met with Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair;
  • engaged in regular dialogue with government officials from Public Safety Canada and the RCMP to get much needed clarity on the regulations;
  • published a FAQ to help firearms owners understand what is happening;
  • remain connected with industry to understand the ongoing and future concerns for the entire firearms supply chain;
  • talked to hundreds of concerned OFAH members; and,
  • completed a full-scale analysis of the amended regulations.

The Letter can be found here


Federal government announces firearms ban
Please follow this link for information on this important issue

Your hardest-fought win in conservation history
An important message from Robert J. Pye, CAE
Manager, Business Development & Corporate Messaging

Remember you can stay up to date of what’s going on by signing up and get on the email list to stay connected with the OFAH


MNRF have made two decisions on the Black Bear Hunt, the first one making the hunt permanent and the second regarding baiting. We have also added a link on the history of the Black Bear Hunt. Each link will open a new page on your browser.

On March 13, 2020 the decision to proceed with this proposal was made.In 2014, Ontario introduced a spring black bear hunting season pilot that supported sustainable black bear hunting opportunities. The spring black bear hunting season pilot has continued each year since then. The province has decided to make the pilot a regular annual spring season.

On March 13, 2020 the decision to proceed with the  proposal was made.This change is being implemented by an amendment to Ontario Regulation 665/98 (Hunting). This change will take effect for the 2020 bear hunting season.(Baiting) 

The Time Line of Black Bear hunting in Ontario


Ontario has approved many of the proposed changes to moose management that are intended to make moose tag allocation fairer and more consistent for provincially licensed moose hunters, while helping to support the sustainability of moose populations.  Read the details

Ontario government proposes a full return of spring bear hunt
Almost 21 years to the day since the spring bear hunt was cancelled, the Government of Ontario has proposed to bring it back. Read the full story

Don’t forget our 2019 Deer hunt survey both ONLINE  or Downloadable
This survey is volunterry unlike the MANDATORY MNRF REPORTING

The Politics of Firearms
A letter From the OFAH by Matt DeMille
And while on the topic of Firearms, fees will be on the rise Those details here

Province announces new CWD legislation

The OFAH was pleased to see the provincial government announcement on Wednesday regarding new measures to protect Ontario’s cervid species from chronic wasting disease.
See the whole story

Feral Swine impact on wild game
Great information


Our 2020 Spring  Newsletter is now available, you may also want to look at past newsletters from the spring and 2018. Thank you Ed Giffin for the hard work you put into this keeping our Zone informed of what is happening in our area.
Spring 2020 Newsletter
Fall newsletter 2019
Spring newsletter 2019
Fall newsletter 2018
Spring newsletter 2018


The New National Fishing and Hunting Collaborative has been formed please read the media release here and check the Priorities and Asks on the main Web Site